“Before last week, Maxwell Osborne had never participated in a protest of any kind. The 33-year-old designer for Public School andDKNY had worked for years in the fashion industry, where politics often take a backseat to production. Last week, that all changed for Osborne. In an open letter for W magazine, he laid out the facts:
“As a black man in an overwhelmingly white industry, race is never far from my mind.”
But fashion is fashion, it’s about decadence, opulence, luxury. It’s not about politics, right?
Fashion has had a history of giving a voice to causes that other industries chose to ignore. The most exciting lines are always a breath of fresh air: Personal, aspirant, and provocative. With each new Instagram-famous designer breaking on to the scene, fashion begins to feel more and more like a political platform, a soapbox from which young people can voice their opinions, their hopes for change. Public figures like Beyonce and Lady Gaga have always used fashion to make larger political statements. Even Kylie Jenner just came out with a nail polish line designed to curb teen bullying.
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